Coping with the awesome pressures
I’m proud to have served as a a KC-135Q tanker pilot supporting the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane at Beale AFB, CA. The tanker’s the one in front, sporting the prodigious member. This appears to be toward the end of the refueling track, at FL 250 and 350 KIAS, because the tanker is nose down and the SR is in slow flight, cracking a burner occasionally to hang on to the boom at this agonizingly slow speed, carrying 70,000 pounds of JP-7 fuel acquired in the last 10 minutes.
Since there were so few of each, I flew that specific tanker and refueled that specific Blackbird, but surely not in this picture, which was probably taken by the co-pilot of one of the other 2(!) tankers required to refuel a single Habu.
Few realized how demanding our role was, and the great pressures which we coped with by any means available…